NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable Roundtable: Rave Reviews for Kevin Owens, Sasha Banks, Samoa Joe

What did the Pulse Wrestling crew think of the show?

CB

What a fucking great show. Breeze vs. Balor, Becky vs. Sasha and Zayn vs. Owens all delivered in big ways, and the Samoa Joe debut was done perfectly. To me, Becky Lynch was the breakout STAR of the night, and when the crowd started singing her theme song AFTER the match, it was just one of those moments where you knew she left her heart out there in the ring and deserved the praise she was getting.

Darren Paltrowitz

NXT provides everything I look for in wrestling. As great as the matches can be on El Rey’s “Lucha Underground” or on AXS’ broadcasts of New Japan, NXT trumps its competition with production. Its roster size is also appealing, since NXT also features some of the lower-card WWE talent (e.g. Curtis Axel, Emma) and alumni (e.g. Rhyno, Brian Kendrick) from time to time. The women’s divisions from other organizations also can’t compare. The crowd chants themselves can also be entertaining (e.g. “Evil Emma”).

In short, “NXT Takeover” exceeded my expectations, which were already somewhat high. The entrances of Tyler Breeze and Finn Balor for the first match were very impressive. Even the entrances of Dana Brooke, Charlotte and Bayley were great and trump what the majority of the WWE main roster talent currently get. Enzo Amore and Big Cass are more over than at least half of the main roster. Sasha Banks is a more compelling worker than most of the main roster Divas. Corey Graves is a better commentator than some of the people on “RAW” and “Smackdown.” Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are obviously great stars, as “RAW” has displayed this month. The surprise (but long-rumored) appearance of Samoa Joe at the end was a more interesting ending the ending of most WWE broadcasts and pay-per-views.

After watching “Takeover,” my only question is what sort of role NXT is going to serve in the future. Is it going to be a third brand the way ECW was in the mid-2000s? Is it going to be a separate brand for “invasion” purposes? Is it going to really just be a developmental system and extension of the WWE Performance Center? Either way, I’m staying tuned and see unlimited potential for NXT.

John Turnbull

Another great show from NXT, with the debut of Samoa Joe set to challenge the dominance of Kevin Owens.

With the exception of Rhyno vs Corbin the card was stacked with excellent matches, with the Banks/Lynch and Breeze/Balor bouts proving that NXT is stacked with talent.

On the injury side, it was probably sensible for Hideo Itami to drop out of the triple threat match, but once again Sami Zayn fought through a shoulder injury and delivered a compelling story as the plucky underdog against Owens calculating bully.

With Samoa Joe in the house and the impending debut of U’haa Nation, NXT looks like the show to watch over the next few months!

James Sawyer

This was my first ever NXT show, and despite all the hype that’s been surrounding NXT, I think if anything people have been underplaying it. Everything about NXT works.

The arena itself is cool, a nice mix of intimate but impressive looking. They have LED lights on the entrance ramp that match the Titantron, and the entrances are all unique and fitting, from Breeze’s selfie schtick to Bayley’s wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube men. The crowds seem excited to be there, and the chants seem fun and respectful, with the women’s match getting a “This is awesome” and Balor’s entrance alone getting a “Ho-lee shit!” Shout-out to the dad chanting “Ho-lee shit” while covering up his son’s ears.

And speaking of women’s wrestling, I might’ve seen the best match of 2015, and it was with women’s wrestlers (I will not call these warriors “divas.”) Good god they tore the house down, and I was glued for all 20+ minutes of that match. It had crazy spots, psychology, two distinct characters that wanted more than anything to win. Sasha Banks truly is “The Boss,” and truly is an epic-level heel that you still respect for her awesome ringwork. And Bayley is every bit as fun as people say, and Charlotte is every bit as amazing as people say. I know people keep hinting at Charlotte moving up, but if that happens I really want her to retain her skill level. My god, can you imagine if Vince hands over the “Divas” division to Triple H, and he lets Paige, Natalya, Emma, Bayley, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Charlotte loose?

Kevin Owens is not a “cool heel,” he’s a real heel. He’s someone that, despite knowing IRL he’s a devoted dad, you want to see him get five shades of shit knocked out of him and that smug smirk knocked off his face. This dude gets it. We live in a world where Triple H is smarter than Jim Cornette, because Owens is absolutely a star.

And how awesome is the near future gonna be, with Owens feuding with Zayn, Finn, Hideo and Joe? And how awesome is the far future gonna be, with WWE roster with Owens, Zayn, Finn, Hideo, Joe, Enzo and Big Cass, The Vaudevillians, Ambrose, Ziggler (please stay), Cesaro, Kidd, every women from NXT, LuchaDragons, Uhaa Nation…

Excuse me as I pray for Vince to retire and for Triple H to “TakeOver.”

Vincent

I have only gotten to see select parts, but DAMN what a show. The Balor/Breeze match was great, the tag titles match was stupendous, everything that happened during the main event was awesome and I have not seen the women’s match, but I have high hopes. NXT continues to do everything I want in a show.

Penny Marie Sautereau

I hadn’t gotten enough sleep, so I nodded off at some parts, though not because of any dullness of the show. I saw most of it and except for the Rhyno/Corbin match, which was plodding and had no consistent pace what with Corbin’s repeated misfires, everything else was pretty damned good. Finn Balor once again won the entire internet taking his entrance and match pace up a notch, even garnering an old Paul London chant for jumping off an 8 foot lighting platform. The women proved once again why they’re better off staying in NXT, Sami Zayn proved he can sell like nobody’s business, the Dubstep Cowboys are apparently going to Heel Jericho’s hair salon now, the crowd was super hot all night, and damned if I didn’t mark out like a small child when Joe came out. For once, WWE kept a signing truly secret well enough that NO ONE saw that coming and it made for an incredibly awesome epic surprise moment. PS – Props to U’Haa Nation for getting one of the biggest pops/chants of the night just for smiling at the camera.

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